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Living out dependence on God 

What do you do when specific, important and God-honouring prayers aren’t answered as you hoped? CMS missionary Judith Calf sayskeep praying.  

Recently the rains arrived which mark the beginning of the new planting season in our part of East Africa. The weather is a bit more unpredictablespells of hot sun, cloudy days and then rainy storms. Most people have planted their corn and beans, and now we ask the Lord to water his fields to bring a good harvest. It is often a precarious time—too little rain and they will die off, but too much rain and they will be destroyed. I am reminded again how dependent we are on our God for our daily bread (or here in Tanzaniaugalimaize porridge).  

A season of trust  

Although I was expecting to be in Sydney now for Home Assignment, the restrictions on people returning to Australia has seen me remaining in Muleba. The rollercoaster of confirmed bookings being cancelled a day or two before flying has been a continuing challenge. I currently have no date for when I will be in Australia, but my prayerful hope is sometime in December.  

I recently taught a lesson on praying. What is prayer? Why do we pray? What should we pray for? How do we pray?  

My Tanzanian brothers and sisters have taught me much about praying, with depth of faith and passion and perseverance, living the reality of depending on God.  

During this season, when so many have been praying with me for a safe and timely arrival in Australia, I have reflected on this mysterious gift of prayer we have been given. How is it we can bring our requests to the omniscient Father who loves us and will only give good to his children? We ask in faith, in trust that he will answer, so that his name be glorified. I have seen earnest praying for a flight booking to hold, only to see it cancelled again. It is the divine ‘your will be done … for the kingdom and power and glory are yours’.  

Continuing in prayer 

It may seem paradoxical, but for me this experience of praying, and getting a different outcome to what is hoped for, does not lead me to abandon praying, but to trust more deeply in prayer and our good God who hears and answers. I may never know, and in fact do not need to know, why God has chosen to answer in this way. I rest secure in the knowledge that he is working his good purposes for me, in me and through me.  

Thank you for persevering in prayer for me and with me. It has been a hard year in so many ways. This rollercoaster of delayed travel has taken its toll on my heart and mind, but I am thankful for this experience to grow me to be more like Jesus, the Son who prayed to his Father, your will be done.  

Will you pray with me for God’s guidance? Especially as I must be both ready to go, but prepared to stay.  

PRAY 

Pray for Judith and other CMS missionaries as travel plans are changing frequently. Ask God for guidance, discernment and patience during this ongoing time of uncertainty.